Emma Hearne

Emma Hearne from Johannesburg in South Africa is the alt-folk duo of Emma Hearne and Sarah.

Emma Hearne - alt-folk from South Africa

Emma Hearne

There is a hauntingly beautiful resonance that filters into the room on listening to Emma Hearne as the guitar weaves its way intricately around the corners, exploring every space.

As regular readers know I often rave about how piano or violin adds a sonorous depth to compositions, equally a softly played guitar where the scratches of chord shifts can be clearly distinguished adds a connectivity that you just don’t want to end. Folk influences are combined with local beats to afford an out-put that inveigles into the head the longer played.

Alongside the guitars a keyboard adds a lustre to the sound which captivates the ears. Tracks appear with or without vocal and each is replete as stands, which is a testament to a creator who appreciates less often means more.

Emma Hearne create music that demands the listener stops other activity to gain maximum value and spending time with the lights down low without distraction, is time well spent.

In a genre of music that I rarely find much interest I raise my hat to Emma Hearne and long may the songs continue.

A couple of tracks – one without vocal the other with voice.

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Ras Kayaga

Ras Kayaga from Kigali in Rwanda is a reggae singer songwriter.

Ras Kayaga - Reggae from Rwanda

Ras Kayaga

Singing in Kinyarwanda the reggae derived material finds its way into the head like a diamond tipped drill-bit as the sounds resonate of a country still in turmoil dealing with differences much of the rest of the world can only vaguely appreciate.

Other than reggae off-beat, which regular readers well know always strikes a chord, Ras Kayaga offers music of positivity and realism, which I find as I type as such a contrast to the sounds of suburban wannabe gangsters in safe homes – aka – hip-hop / rap  and the banality of the plastic out-put of major label ‘angst’. This is music directly from the heart connecting with the audience in a very simple and unpretentious way.

As to be anticipated, by an underground act in the underground music of Rwanda, material is scarce and not of great recorded quality. For me the quality of recording is never an issue, as you well know, it is all about the genuine chords being struck and I proffer Ras Kayaga as a sound with much to add to the value to the musical tapestry.

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MR. KITO originally from France is Eric Michot long based in Cape Town –  South Africa, an alt-indie creator.

MR KITO - alt indie from South Africa

MR KITO photo by Tahirih Michot

An interesting blend of sounds come to mind on hitting pay with MR. KITO – New Wave, Kwela and Berber immediately spring to mind. Put simply, I love how my windows are bending as I turn up the volume and stretch the sub-woofers and on that basis you know I couldn’t help but be captivated – even to the extent that I had to place a couple of speakers facing each other and watch the glass placed in-between dancing to the beats.

Far more importantly, it is the combinations of influences that marks out MR. KITO as a sound I suggest you spend some time getting to know. Instantaneously engaging the listener with percussion that surges through the arteries. Although deploying loops to create the basic structure,  the infrastructure and finishing is filled in with instrumentation and vocals which build to a Cathedral performance, whilst still retaining a connectivity with the audience. Giving the listener plenty to engage the mind without ever focussing on one idea.

A highly experienced music producer Eric Michot only began this project in 2012 and he has used his knowledge to craft sounds which have the ability to transcend the anticipated flows, without it ever stepping into the experimental.

Interestingly I was sent the introduction by the USA indie label Russian Winter Records on a personalised email address rather than the current own label Presence Records – so it may well be that publishing may extend far wider in the next few months and that would be of benefit to the broader world of music. I could, nay should, have waited to email back and forth to be able to give you the run-down, but I enjoyed it so much, like an excited child, I couldn’t wait to share MR. KITO with you.

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Where Are the Lizards? – EP – Mr Kito is available on iTunes*.

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